Let’s Be Real, No One Handcuffed First Graders

Someone cuffs these kids. Their crime? Being too cute.

Let's Be Real, No One Handcuffed First Graders
Photo: Anthony and Katie

Around age five, children—most specifically little boys—begin to understand their right to freedom.

Children this age not only have a general lack of concern for their peers, mentors or family members, but they make it a point to avidly display their rights through loud voices, spitting, vomiting and impromptu fort-building in inconvenient spaces.

It’s the first time little boys become cognizant of their “boy parts,” and what behaviors they’re told they denote. Little boys will eat bugs, stomp on cats, push girls into mud and pee into empty bottles when the concept of “tough” first enters their psyche.

But lest post-toddler boys forget, they are 100 percent dependent on their parents—for everything—and the one sure way to upset even the rowdiest of child is to threaten them with never seeing their parents again.

Cruel? Yes. Hilarious? Yes. And it happened recently—maybe.

According to the Huffington Post, on-campus security at a Chicago public elementary school, handcuffed several six and seven year olds for talking.

“The children, who were considered disruptive, were then allegedly handcuffed for an hour and sent to an office, where they were told ‘they were going to prison and would never see their parents again,’” says HuffPo.

Look, I’m not down for cruelty, but this is excellent. A certain joy comes from telling children they’ll never see their parents again, much like the joy one gets from telling a dog in a happy high-pitched voice that they’re getting taken to the vet to be put to sleep.

My only issue with the situation is that it was probably fabricated by the kids or their parents.

One parent, LaShanda Smith “filed the lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court on behalf of her son, who she claims was one of the several 6 and-7-year-olds excessively punished by a security guard at Carver Primary School on the South Side.”

I’m sure the real situation was that the kids’ teacher told them to pipe down, and when they didn’t, they were put into time out. This translated to getting cuffed and threatened with imprisonment because in the mind of the child, these things are one in the same. In the mind of a parent any punishment is too much for their kid.

Let’s be realistic, no one handcuffs a six year old for talking unless the six year old earlier paid the officer to make him look cool in front of his friends (also likelier than the reported story), or unless the security guard was doing it in shared fun with the kids.

The Huffington Post reports that, “The lawsuit is seeking more than $100,000 in damages from CPS and the Board of Education.” A bit much for what is most likely a fabricated story.

Many commenters on the Huffington Post article are convinced that the alleged threats were actually made and that the children deserve real jail time for their behavior.

Before you think I’m taking things too far with finding threats to children funny, consider the level of inappropriateness of wanting the threats to actually be carried out.

Huffington Post commenters—this would ruin the fun entirely.

Saying, “just kidding” before everyone bursts into hysterics is the best part and kids—like goldfish—have a one minute memory span, meaning they’ll completely forget the incident in 60 seconds or less.

With everyone taking this situation too seriously, all I can say is that I hope LaShanda gets her 100k and that the kids get some street cred for getting handcuffed, and for not pissing themselves upon hearing they were going to be orphaned. Assuming this happened, of course.